Friday, 30 August 2013

Drop everything! Read read read..

..this unbelievably amazing interview with Alexander Alexandrov! It's in 5 parts, with links to the next at the bottom of each. It's very candid, he doesn't hold back on anything and you really get the full inside story of what happened last year. Read it and weep that the Rodionenkos are STILL in power. It will take at least half an hour to read, but so so worth it. Great work by Elizabeth in bringing the whole thing together, providing the canvas for it and all of that editing for such a long glorious interview. We should all bow down :)

The Canadian WAG team has been announced, with zero surprises. It will be Victoria Moors, Elsabeth Black, Kaitlyn Hofland and Maegan Chant. With the injury of Gabriella Douglas and her withdrawal from selection, the inclusion of Kaitlyn has looked more and more of an uncertainty. This is a nice strong team, with the possibility of three spots in finals (two for floor and one for vault) as well as all-around spots. I'm not convinced that the latter two can make any finals with their current difficulty level, but who knows.

Here is a beautiful beam routine by Wu Liufang in training for worlds 2011. So close to being perfect, the stumble after the tuck back was the only thing marring it from the Ekaterina Vandisheva/Fan Ye school of perfect beam routines. That is Jiang Yuyuan in the background completely biffing a Ruflova, didn't notice the first time as Wu is so absorbing!

This weekend podium training for the National Games in China is taking place. We are unlikely to get anything from this really, but competition is starting soon and hopes for videos are high. Any absences you might notice are down to injury, unfortunately. This is far more important than worlds to the individual provinces, coaching teams etc. no matter what they say, and the girls do seem to be pushed as a result. The Interland friendly meet starts sooner, this weekend. This forms the second part of the Dutch worlds trials, and looks to be a test meet for the rest- particularly Britain who are sending a lot of girls, but also for Sandra Izbasa who hasn't competed since London. There will definitely be quick hits and a summary video, not sure about routines though- which is a pity as aside from it being an interesting competition- the Romanian girls have new floor routines!

I'm sure I'll add to this post with more gymnastics news, but for now I will throw in some photos I took on my phone when I was away this week. I was in Cork city and went for a daytrip to Cobh (pronounced Cove, formally Queenstown) which is pretty much my favourite town in Ireland. It's so so pretty and it's steeped in history too, this was the port where everybody from the west and south of the country emigrated from before, during and after the Great Famine and it was one of the stops Titanic made before crossing the Atlantic. We have an Irish priest who got off here having travelled from Southampton for the majority of the photos of its voyage. Cobh is incredibly steep which is difficult but those coloured houses..beautiful.

This cathedral is enormous. Bad perspective due to high ground!

Source- beautifulgymnastics

21 comments:

  1. The interview made me so, so sad for Russia, and I hate that Alexandrov left, but I completely understand how he couldn't work like this anymore and I hope he finds success and happiness in Brazil instead. Absolutely spectacular work from Elizabeth and of course, Alexandrov's daughter for conducting the interview. It's great to have a view about the situation in Russia from someone reasonably clear-headed and NOT Valentina. Is it really awful of me that I wish the Rodionenkos would just disappear? The program could have achieved so much more and beyond without them around. I'm just hoping that it will not be too many more years of their reign...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was rage inducing at some points. Yes, I'd like a swift retirement or firing too. They ARE pretty old though..

      Delete
    2. Oh and comment on the interview if you haven't already! Elizabeth prefers part 5 for discussion. Comments will almost certainly be read by/to Alexandrov.

      Delete
  2. The part about Grishina practically seemed prophetic. It's scary to think how she may just be completely black balled by these people now. It just seems like Valentina is all out crazy and it was very interesting hearing the talk about the favorites. Even her husband seems like he's afraid of her! And we thought Marta was crooked and scary......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Uncanny. I think Marta has favourites, but she's generally fairly normal. Now Valentina on the other hand..

      Delete
  3. How can Valentina talk so poorly of a coach who got Russia out of their rut in 2010?? She talks as if Alexandrov accomplished nothing! Apparantly, he's too "lenient" with Mustafina. Who cares? She's world and Olympic champion! I thought it was really unfair how in the gymnastics magazine, so many articles were about the Rodionenkos, not the individual coaches. What does Valentina actually DO besides run her big mouth?

    I think Valentina's the reason why Dementyeva retired. After all, she put her out of contention for the Olympics. I'm surprised all the coaches and gymnasts haven't gone on strike against the Rodionenkos. Valentina acts like she's the all-knowing God of gymnastics, but really she's an inconsiderate, bitter old woman who likes power and authority.

    Great article from Elizabeth, though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It explained a lot when Alexandrov said they feel threatened by success, as in, their position. As he says, he's far from the first to be booted out!

      The Rodionenkos unfortunately have some powerful relatives, or at least one that I know of. In a way they seem propped up in a Soviet sort of political system as if it hasn't moved on at all. Valentina is 77...just retire!

      Delete
  4. Valentina is one crazy lady. Any word on Afan/Vika/Grishy/Pav inclusion on world team yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Afan is already in, if she's okay. There seems to be a good bit of positive speculation about her surgery, that it was to flush out her ankle (old bone spurs injury) so that isn't serious. No real word on the rest but Pavlova is not going anywhere near that team, she does not have elite routines.

      Delete
  5. First of all, nice pics, thanks for sharing.

    I read the interview earlier today. Thanks to Elizabeth and Alexandrov's daughter Isa for conducting the interview and translating it.

    It is pretty poor that the Rodionenko's are in power for so long. I always hated how coaches keep getting fired and they are always in power. They don't want the head coach to get any praise when things go right; yet they should get the blame for when things go wrong. I didn't like how Alexandrov was let go, but it happened but then they trash him in the press, there was no need for that.

    It was almost like a prophesy about what he said about Grishina. Valentina says how Grishina shouldn't be doing training away from the group yet she was the one who allowed it in the first place. Now Grishina is being slammed in the media. I know cultures are different but a teenage girl should not be slammed like that to the media, not Aliya, not Grishina.

    Both Rodionenkos are old, and they need to put some succession planning in place already for the head coaches position, Russia should have had some young head coaches coming up already. I am glad he said, he doesn't know Valentina's role because I have not known what it was for so long, it is nice that he doesn't either.

    I love that he and Aliya parted on good terms and that is something that I had always hoped for and I hope they will continue to be on good terms like Alexandrov and his other former pupils. It was so sweet what he said about Aliya, had me a little teary eyed to be honest.

    As for Chinese nationals, I know we probably wont know much but hopefully there are some news on how people performed.
    I also hope to see how Izbasa perform this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did know about Ostapenko and one of the others, but when you lay it out like that- 5 in 5 years, it's shocking. Valentina shouldn't be in charge or anything, it's beyond disgraceful. Not that Andrei is amazing either. Yes, so many other great quotes from it too!

      That was immensely reassuring. I found it hard to believe that their relationship was suddenly fraught and I'm glad to hear that was all lies.

      Delete
  6. Thank you so much for this interview - I devoured it! I appreciate that he shared his inside information - so frankly and honestly. I think it's lovely that his daughter was a part of sharing his story. I truly appreciate his relationship with Ailya and his support of her from the beginning of her career through the injury through the Olympics and even in leaving her at the end to give her a chance. I also appreciate his wisdom and ethics in coaching - you can tell it's very important to him to train in an intelligent, comprehensive manner. I feel badly for the Russian girls that politics and poor behavior are destroying their talent and chances. Really - it is humbling to think that in any country a truly talented young girl will never see her full ability because of a lack of good coaching or equipment. And it is a travesty to think that these Russian girls COULD have access to good training and equipment if only the Rodienkos weren't so prideful. Alexander has clearly proved himself to be a master of the sport and a gentlemen on top of it all. I wasn't able to post this comment on the actual blog since I don't have a web account... I hope he reads these comments too b/c I wish to support him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think the equipment is fine? Round Lake has been done up. There are numerous other problems though. Ah, they must not allow anon so.

      It's probably the best interview I've ever read, or at least in gymnastics. I'll reread it soon, probably absorb more from it that way, there's so much to take in.

      Delete
    2. Good call on the equipment - I reread the part about the sponsor. Though for other countries that of course is a problem. Such a great article!

      Delete
  7. Thanks for all the comments everyone. I am trying to fix the problem with comments on my blog and will make sure that Isa has the link here so she can share things with her dad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope the fixing goes well! Thanks again for this.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Catherine. I think it is fixed now - probably 48 hours too late. Hey ho. Thank you for the nice post x

      Delete
  8. Great interview from Alexandrov. Right now its the best I've ever read. I felt so many emotions reading each part. I was relieved to hear that Aliya's relationship with AA isnt as strained as the media made it seem and that hes still in contact with her. I was worried when I heard there relationship all of a sudden took a turn for the worst. I still cant believe that Kamalova had the nerve to ask for money for"her gymnast" that just cracked me up. I always wondered why they didnt use Dementyeva at Olympics I think I heard that she was injured though. This interview pretty much explained the performances of the Russian team throughout 2012. I fear that Aliya will continue being the Rodionenkos work horse leading to more injuries from her. I can only hope for the best for all the gymnasts on the Russian team.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think we could quite rightly fear for the whole NT, senior and juniors..under this 'regime'.

      Delete
  9. Thank you all so much for your comments and warm words! I will make sure they will get to my dad:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank YOU so much Isa for getting this out there! :)

      Delete